If you follow the trend in our blogs and our marketing, you’ll know that we put a huge emphasis on generating 5-star reviews for our clients and educating non-clients as much as possible. Reviews are following an ever-important trend of giving consumers what they’re looking for and separating yourself from competition, and have benefits such as the following:
- Increasing the likelihood of being featured on Google maps
- Adding awards and accolades to your website
- Increased online visibility on SERPs in general
The following articles can get you up to speed with confirming the importance of, and some general information about DIY review generation:
The Continued Importance of Reviews in 2019 – https://www.marketmymarket.com/the-continued-importance-of-reviews-in-2019/
Are People Reading Reviews Before Contacting Lawyers – https://www.marketmymarket.com/are-people-reading-reviews-before-contacting-lawyers/
Should Generating Reviews be a Part of Your Marketing Strategy as a Local Business? – https://www.marketmymarket.com/should-generating-reviews-be-a-part-of-your-marketing-strategy/
All You Need to Know About Generating 5-Star Reviews
We wanted to put it all together to once and for all solidify all this great information in one place! And that place is as a webinar we will be doing periodically to continually answer questions and educate everyone on 5-star review generation on sites like Google, Facebook, Avvo and many more.
Even in the past few weeks (writing this as of April 9th), the emphasis on positive reviews is trending upward, especially with tying in Voice Search (which according to a recent study, 80% plan on using more often in 2019.) Right now, verbal queues for search use a “near me” and “find me” but go beyond just “WWWWW” that we’ve been able to use for long-tailed content for so long. This is the first time we’re seeing commands, such as “Find Me” and “Search For,” keywords that we’ve never used when entering a search on our browsers and ones we have little general knowledge of optimizing for.
Take that to the next level, one year, two years from now, when voice search is really prevalent, and people use voice commands as “find the best criminal lawyer near me” or “find the criminal lawyer with the most reviews near me”.
Google may consider “best” through its machine learning to parse maps for the firm with the most reviews and highest quantity. People could just search by “best,” “most reviews,” “best reviews.”
Watch Our Webinar on Obtaining 5-Star Reviews
Google placing an emphasis on commands in keyword phrases is definitely something to think about when evaluating your future content strategy. Until then, here’s our webinar page. Join us! Ask questions! I’ll be looking to always add relevant information to each forthcoming webinar we launch.
Now on YouTube here:
– [Joanna] All right. Well, thank you for joining us for our webinar on the importance of five-star reviews and how to obtain them in 2019. We have a packed agenda for today, but before we get started, I’d like to quickly introduce myself. My name is Joanna Brooks and I’m the account manager at Market My Market. So I’m responsible for managing our client accounts, specifically as it relates to the development and deployment of marketing strategy. We also have Ryan Klein presenting on the webinar today. Say hey, Ryan.
– [Ryan] Hey, Joanna. Yeah, getting right on the dot, 1:30. I actually have 1:29 on my clock, but that’s totally fine. Anyway, I know that all lawyers are busy people, so we’ll get right into it. Just a little bit about myself: Like Joanna said, my name is Ryan Klein. I’m one of the partners at Market My Market. I’ve been doing legal marketing for about 10 years, a lot of it in-house, some consulting freelancing, and then obviously with the agency, so one of the reasons we wanted to cover this topic especially is there wasn’t really any point in time where reviews wasn’t a challenge for me working in-house in this situation. So every time I talk to lawyers about their pain points, reviews typically comes up. So we’re pleased to say that we’ve done a lot of research and we’re really experts on this subject matter, and you’re gonna really enjoy the information we’ve put together for you.
– [Joanna] Awesome. All right, so as part of today’s agenda, we’re going to explore topics including how important reviews have become and what consumers are doing to look up reviews exactly. We’ll talk about building your own effective review system with the right wording, execution, and follow-ups, and we’ll talk about leveraging positive reviews for better online visibility and higher conversions. Finally, we’ll save time at the end of the webinar to answer any questions that you might have, so you can just go ahead and enter them into the chat pane as they arise. And for any questions we don’t get to at the end, we’ll make sure to follow up with an email accordingly. So let’s get started.
– [Ryan] Great, thanks, Joanna. That sounds like a fun agenda. So importance of reviews. Trends show an increasing importance of customer reviews. So we started to really pay attention to this trend probably back in 2016, and we were doing surveys with a lot of consumers about how important reviews were, so we compared 2017 to 2016 and there was a huge increase. 2018 to 2017, a huge increase, and then even now in 2019, more than ever, we know that it’s really important to have positive reviews, quantity reviews, quality reviews, and so Joanna’s gonna go over some of those statistics that we found.
– [Joanna] Thanks, Ryan. So let’s run through some of the stats regarding the importance of customer reviews for lawyers. We actually conducted a survey towards the end of 2018, and again at the beginning of 2019 with around 500 respondents. Here were the questions that we asked as well as the results we found. The first question was, on a percentage scale of zero to 100%, how important would it be to read reviews about a lawyer prior to contacting them? The average response we received was that the importance would fall at 81.7%. When we initially conducted this survey three months ago, the average response was 74.15%, so potential clients are finding it increasingly important to read reviews about a lawyer before contacting them. The next question we asked was, what is the minimum rating you would wanna see for a lawyer on Google? The response we received was that the minimum rating they’d like to see on a lawyer’s profile is a 3.84 star rating out of five stars. Now, three months prior, the minimum star rating people wanted to see was 3.8875, so it stayed relatively stable there. When asked what’s the minimum number of reviews you’d wanna see for a lawyer on Google, the response we received was 20 customer reviews. Three months prior, the minimum number was 14.1 customer reviews, so you can see it’s, again, increasingly important not only to have a high star rating on your online review profiles, but also to have a large and growing number of reviews on your online profiles. So at the very least, most small businesses should work towards a 3.9 star rating and 14 reviews, which were the minimum results we received in our survey. Keep in mind that none of this matters if your competition has better numbers than you do. If this is your situation, you likely wanna strive to obtain even more reviews with better ratings to get ahead. Would you agree, Ryan?
– [Ryan] Yeah, absolutely. I know in the legal space, it’s not that uncommon to see map packs, the three-pack during a search result where lawyers have hundreds upon hundreds of reviews in some of their practice areas. So for a lawyer, I mean, it could be a hundred if your competition has a hundred or 200 reviews, so definitely a good point.
– [Joanna] Thanks. Now, when we conducted the survey again in 2019, we added just one more question, and this question was, on a scale of one to 10, if you narrowed down two lawyers you liked, but one of them had one, I’m sorry, but one of them had much better reviews online, how much would that impact your final decision? The average rating that was reported was 7.931 on a scale of one to 10, making it clear that having less positive reviews than your competitors can really be the breaking point in their decision-making process. So we’ve discussed at this point how important reviews are to customers. Now let’s talk about how exactly people are finding lawyers in 2019. So we conducted a survey about this, and this is what we found. 64% of respondents said they would search on Google, with many already set on finding attorneys in their area on the number one search engine, so that was the huge majority of survey respondents. 30% indicated that they would turn to a friend, family member, or coworker to recommend a good attorney to them. A little over 1% of those polled said that they’d use Yellowbook to inquire about an appropriate attorney, and that was literally just six people. The same amount of people claimed that they would reach out to friends on Facebook for recommendations, or post in a Facebook group forum, and I’ll let Ryan run through the rest of the results.
– [Ryan] Thanks, Joanna. Yeah, so before I actually proceed with my points that I have here, I wanna mention something about that 30% that indicated that they would turn to a friend, family member, or coworker. Keep in mind that should a person need a personal injury lawyer or a criminal defense lawyer or divorce lawyer, their friends or family or their immediate circle may not know any lawyer that’s appropriate for their legal situation. So that 30% is probably going to end up going on Google afterwards should they not be able to refer to their network, so that 64% is probably higher. So moving along to Yelp, 1% of participants said they would search on Yelp. So Yelp is not really, still to this day, a go-to for legal services. It’s still really mostly for restaurants and bars and all that. A few said some of the other search engines, so Bing and Yahoo were not very impressive compared to Google, even DuckDuckGo, which is an up-and-coming search engine, not super popular. One person said that they would use Avvo, and that’s an online legal referral service that we all know, and so that means that Avvo obviously gets a lot of traffic. A lot of people have success with Avvo, and then when people do searches on Google, Avvo pops up, but it just means that Avvo hasn’t exactly branded itself to a point where, when people think that they need legal help, they default to Avvo. And lastly, one person said that they would search for a lawyer through LinkedIn, so they might equate professionalism with LinkedIn, then think of a lawyer, so not that many people compared to Google.
– [Joanna] Exactly, and I also wanna emphasize that the results of the survey highlight more than anything the importance of getting outside your comfort zone when marketing your legal practice. While you may find a source like Avvo sensible to pitch your services, it’s very possible that the clients you seek rely on other methods to find legal help.
– [Ryan] Great, so I’ll talk about accumulating more reviews here, and there’s gonna be three ways you can do it, just like the blue guy is looking at three different doors. So do it yourself, obviously DIY, we’re gonna go over a way that you can do the process of accumulating reviews on your own. We’ll discuss utilizing third-party tool by yourself, so you might refer yourself to some of the tools that are out there. There are plenty to choose from, and we’ll go over what that looks like. And then last, you can utilize a third-party tool, but also an expert such as a consultant or an agency such as ours, can actually utilize that tool on your behalf to accumulate reviews and we’re gonna talk about a little bit more about why that might be recommended and actually it isn’t as expensive as a lot of people might think. So how do we do it? The first thing we wanna look at is this email template. I’m not gonna go into too many details about it because you can see it right here. It kinda leads with, how was your experience? A few sentences, and the biggest thing you wanna note here is kinda the green positivity to kinda push people towards reviewing you on certain platforms. In this example, it’s Google and Facebook, and then here we have the red Contact Us Directly. This is kind of a deterrent to avoid having negative feedback posted online. So take a moment to kinda look at that. Also, we’ll be providing the slides so you don’t have to memorize it or jot down or sketch it out or anything like that. So that’s what an ideal template and the flow looks like. In addition to having a good template, you wanna make the email appear more like a third-party inquiry instead of kind of a direct solicitation, and this is very important, and I’ll try to describe this as best as possible. So typically what lawyers do is they’ll have reception@ or the lawyer or someone that kinda works in-house reach out directly with their typical work email, but actually that might kinda push some people away, so a couple of suggestions that we have as far as where it should come from is more like a third party, maybe a neutral party, really genuinely trying to find out how their experience was, so think more maybe like clientexperience@ or clientcare@. Maybe set up a @gmail with maybe some branding of your firm plus client. Just think a little bit more outside the box for the email that you plan on sending this from, and then Joanna’s gonna talk about the next couple points about how we do it.
– [Joanna] Keeping track of emails. So it’s very important to have a system in place to track whether people are clicking on the links in your emails or even opening them in the first place. So we recommend using an email automation platform like MailChimp, which provides you with data including whether someone opened or clicked on your email. You can also opt for third-party software that has additional functionality, such as automation for email follow-ups, so you can set up a campaign where if someone doesn’t open your email the first time, another email automatically gets sent out five days later, so if you don’t catch them on the first request, you have an opportunity to catch them on the second or third time.
– [Ryan] Thanks, Joanna. And then to put that more into a graphic, you can see right here, we kind of just call it the five-by-five approach. You do an email, you wait five days, send another email, five days, send another email, five days, just like this. This is going to initiate if they don’t respond or they, especially if they don’t open it up, and in a lot of cases sometimes we go through the process, and if they don’t respond or anything, we’ll wait a couple months and we’ll do it again. Typically it’s fine, it doesn’t seem like a solicitation if everything prior to this is set up correctly, and you either stop when they leave the review or you stop when they ask you, “Please don’t email me anymore.” Pretty straightforward.
– [Joanna] All right, so now that we know what the review generation process looks like, let’s talk about why most initiatives fail when people attempt to do it themselves. If you’ve been wondering why your review requests normally don’t pan out, you probably have at least one of these following issues that we’re going to run through. First, your email template doesn’t make it easy to link to places to review. So as you saw a couple slides back, the email template should include a clear way for someone to submit a review. The email templates that we use have buttons that are big and bold, and they lead directly to the review pop-ups on platforms like Google and Avvo. So the less thinking and work that people have to do, the better it is and the higher the conversion rate’s gonna be. Next, no follow-up emails or text messages or automation process to check back in with people who didn’t check the review request email the first time. As we mentioned before, a lot of the times, people don’t submit review the first time. They do it the second or third time. A lot of times what I see on my end when I submit these review requests is that people will open the email, they might even click through to the review site, and not actually do the review. They just wanna see what the process is, how much work is involved on their part, and then they go in the next day and they submit the review, so it’s very important to have a follow-up process because a lot of the times, people will submit the review if you just send them another request a couple days later. And it’s important to have some automation integrated so you don’t have to do the thinking on your end. You’re already busy, you’re a lawyer, you have things to do. Let technology do that work for you and send out emails automatically when someone hasn’t submitted that review the first or second time. Third, company emails that come off like solicitations rather than genuine emails on behalf of an unbiased third party. So Ryan kinda just touched base on this. You don’t wanna come off like you’re just trying to get a review. That can turn people off, so you wanna send a genuine email that looks like it comes from a legitimate source that gives the impression that you’re truly following up on the client experience and want feedback that can make it better for others in the future. I’ll let Ryan run through the last three obstacles.
– [Ryan] Sure, thanks, Joanna. Those are great points, and let me re-emphasize that second point. The automation may be among the most important issues out of everything. Just like Joanna said, most people don’t even open or look at the first email. They may not even look at the second. We have a lot of success when we get to the third or fourth, or even doing the process all over again, so it’s about being vigilant with the follow-ups when you really start to generate a lot of positive reviews. So yeah, I’ll go into my points, absolutely. So, poor email or template formatting. So you saw one of our templates. It works out very well. We’ve been using it for a long time with a lot of success. So a lot of emails that you may used in the past and the ones that don’t really work are kinda just like blocks of text with just a couple hyperlinks. When it’s formatted properly, it looks more professional, it tends to work out better. The next point, content of the email doesn’t get to the point. So you typically don’t have to write a whole story or have a whole preface that goes on forever about why they should leave a review or their experience. Keep it short and sweet, as you saw in the template as well, probably only two or three sentences. Sending emails at the wrong time of the day. This one might seem obvious for some, but you don’t really wanna ask these requests maybe like on the weekend, really late at night. If you have some statistics from some of your email campaigns if you do MailChimp or Constant Contact or anything like that already, you’re gonna have some stats on when your open rates are the highest, so kinda try to stick with the knowledge that you already have and send it alongside other things that you may do. The next point that we have here, emails that end up in spam folder. So when you venture out and you start doing your campaign and you start inundating your mailing list, your database, with emails, you might go to spam if you’re doing too many at once. So if you’re doing hundreds and hundreds, the likelihood it’ll go up into spam increases, so just be a little bit more conscientious of that. If you have a IT or a mail person or anyone that kinda handles your mail or your domain or hosting, maybe kinda coordinate that with them. And then lastly, attempting to get reviews at the place of business. I’m absolutely guilty of this. I guarantee if you’re listening, most people are guilty of this as well. You probably thought that if you have someone in your office, they’re there for a meeting or filing a case or a disbursement check, you can say, “Hey, they’re already in the office. “Why don’t I have them hop on a laptop “or a computer or the iPad? “They’ll set up an email account “and they’ll just leave a review there.” It typically doesn’t work, and you probably know that by now, and if you don’t, I would not suggest embarking on that kinda campaign. It has a lot to do with that you have certain IP addresses. I don’t wanna get too technical, but more or less, Google and other places know that if a lot of people are leaving reviews from the same internet or same connection, they’re going to know that, what you’re doing more or less, and the chances of that review sticking are very low.
– [Joanna] Thank you, Ryan. All right, so since we started to follow a system like this, we have sent out thousands of emails and we wanna share with you the results that we generated for our clients. A 13% email conversion rate, so that’s the percentage of people that left a review, with one client having a conversion rate as high as 38%. The average increase in reviews across all platforms averaged 69%, with one client having a 217% increase within just two months. And over 3,000 reviews generated, with an average rating of 4.6 for all clients.
– [Ryan] Great, and I have one last point before we go to, I think, our last slide. Some viewers might be saying 13% email conversion rate is really low. This is a situation where someone came to us after they already tried everything they could to get reviews from their current mailing list, and we came in with this system that we’ve been chatting about, and ended up getting 13% email conversion after they’ve already attempted. So that’s the stats for that situation. The second point, that 217% increase, this was for a particular client that already had about 40 or 50 reviews, so that 217% increase brought it up closer to about 150, so a big leap for them.
– [Joanna] All right, so now we wanna share some examples of results for specific campaigns of our clients. I’ll let Ryan run through those.
– [Ryan] Sure, and it’s gonna be the second-to-last slide then. So yeah, just a couple examples here. Top, one of our clients came to us, they only had two reviews. After working with us, 107 more. So 95 of those were five-star perfect reviews, 13 were four, and only one three-star review from that campaign. Second one, someone came to us with absolutely zero, and we increased that to 50 overall with a 4.8 rating, so 47 of those were five-star. We did have a few that were negative, but a lot of the times actually that might’ve come not from the campaign, there are just naturally people that might have had a bad experience, so it does happen. And lastly, leveraging the positive reviews. So after you’ve done such a great job working through this process, you have the campaigns and you wanna start getting those positive reviews, what are really the huge impact? What’s the end story, what’s the end goal for all these reviews? So adding a review widget on your website has a huge impact. So if you’re criminal defense, you probably talk about hundreds if not thousands of cases handled, personal injury, millions if not billions of dollars in verdicts and settlements, but also people wanna see your reviews. There’s a lot of, the social aspect is very important for consumers to make decisions nowadays. So there are aggregators, Google’s a big one, Avvo, Lawyers of Distinction is a really big up-and-coming aggregator for reviews, and then Facebook. All these things have a big impact for people. And then also, receiving and unlocking quality awards, accolades, and badges, so Avvo right here. I can’t think off the top of my head what they say at every step, but 10 is superb, 9 is probably excellent, 8 is great, 7, good, all that kinda stuff. If you have more positive reviews, there’s more chances for you to essentially unlock these awards you can also feature on your website. And then the more reviews you have, the more chances you have to take some testimonials and some positive excerpts from these reviews and put them on marketing materials, put them on your website. There’s a lot of places where you can feature these positive reviews in social media sharing. It just adds to the positivity around your brand and your firm. Additional positive reviews will also provide an SEO boost. There’s a huge correlation, especially in 2019, between having positive reviews and more visibility online, so it does tie into SEO quite a bit. And then lastly, there’s a enormous correlation between, especially on Google, having not only a high quantity of reviews, but high-quality number of reviews to be feature on the map pack. So when people do a search, you have your paid ads, and then you have the maps, and then you have organic. Being in that maps is more important than ever, and having positive reviews has a huge impact on being featured there.
– [Joanna] All right, so now you have seen how we successfully obtain reviews for our legal clients in 2019. If any of you are interested in more information about utilizing a third-party tool to generate reviews, please feel free to reach out. Our contact info is on the current slide, and we’ll make sure to send out the slide deck so all attendees have a copy to reference. That being said, thanks for joining us for our webinar today, and at this time, we’re going to open up the floor for our question-and-answer segment.
– [Ryan] Yeah, absolutely, and then before we go into that, the Q&A, please enter all of your questions into either the chat or the Q&A. It should be at the bottom of your screen, and then we’ll start answering that. But before we do that, I just wanna give a shout-out to Lawyers of Distinction. We received some help and assistance with some of people on their team that are very serious about reviews and all that, so they’re a great team, great marketers. They’re doing a great job. They started off as kind of aggregating some of the, I guess, top lawyers using their system in the country, and they’re also becoming a great review aggregator too, so just shout-out to them. Great, so Joanna, you wanna read the first question?
– [Joanna] All right, sure. The first question is from Allison: “My list contains many clients “who worked with the firm years ago. “Does it matter if their last interaction “with the firm was from long ago?” No, it doesn’t matter. We actually suggest that when you send a list of email addresses for us to send review requests to, that you send us as many emails as you can. We have the opportunity to customize the messaging, so if it’s someone who you haven’t served in a very long time, we can update the messaging and be like, “Hey, I know it’s been a long time. “We just wanted to check back in “and see how your experience with what, “how your experience was with us,” and so on and so forth. So whether it’s someone who you haven’t spoken to in a long while or it’s someone that you just closed a case, both situations work. Okay.
– [Joanna] We have another question. Ryan, you wanna take this one?
– [Ryan] Sure, I’m looking at a couple, but I’ll go with anonymous first.
– [Joanna] Okay.
– [Ryan] “I’m a disability attorney. “Will this work for low-income clients, “some without regular email or internet access? “All my clients are trying to get disability benefits “from VA and Social Security Administration.” So following up with people, so we’ve been in situations where there are two kinds of people that may not have access to internet, and you’re describing one demographic, and also older people. We’ve been in situations where it’s still effective, but maybe not as effective. If people don’t have access to internet, they certainly almost don’t ever have an email, so this just might be one of those few situations where it could possibly still work, but it might be limited to your clientele, but I still think the answer would be yes.
– [Joanna] Yeah, we can still make it work. There’s just one thing that we wanna keep in mind is that for some of these review platforms, and it doesn’t apply to all, but for Google specifically, you need to have a Google account in order to leave a review. So if someone doesn’t really have email or internet access, I would assume they probably don’t really have a Google account, and so you just need to make sure that they have that before they can submit a review, but there are other platforms like Avvo, I believe, Avvo, you don’t need an account. You can just submit a review without that. So we encourage, and it is ideal for someone to have internet access regularly, but we still can make things work. We can do it by SMS as well, so we can do it with emails and with text messages.
– [Ryan] Yeah, thanks for that response. I’ll piggyback off that. Sometimes we also present the template in kind of a hierarchy of importance, so if we know that the clients, well, our clients or the law firm’s clientele, is a little bit more savvy and they’re more likely to be able to use the computer and log in to places and create accounts, we’re able to start with Google, and then if we know that’s not the case, maybe it’ll be Facebook. If that’s not the case, maybe it’s Avvo, so we’re always planning on, okay, we’re gonna be sending it to these certain people, or do we know with certainty that the likelihood that they’ll have access makes sense for asking for those kinda reviews or kind of guiding them along to those kinds of websites.
– [Joanna] Yeah, and so we have a follow-up to that question, which is, should you focus on Avvo or should you focus on Google first? There’s benefits to both, but I would lean towards Google because Google has extra benefits that can be gained from having more reviews. It plays into SEO, search engine optimization, and Google Maps gets a ton of visibility, so you definitely want to have Google as a priority, but Avvo, of course, is a great platform because it’s specifically related to lawyers. That’s why it’s good to be able to have both options, like Ryan mentioned. We can have a link for Google, we can have a link for Avvo, we even do it for Facebook, whatever makes sense for the clientele.
– [Ryan] Yeah, we mention Google a whole bunch, and that’s not just because we do SEO. We’re not indebted to Google for anything, but there’s just a correlation with visibility that’s just so much stronger with Google, and even though someone’s gonna be required to use an email to log in and actually leave it and hopefully it sticks, that is the trade-off. Avvo is still important, of course, because people do. They will verify lawyers afterwards, so if they go to a website and their, I guess, decision to retain a lawyer’s a little bit longer, they will look you up on Avvo and they will look you up on some other platforms wherever there are reviews. Unfortunately, sometimes it might be Yelp, ’cause we’re not big fans of Yelp, and it’s important to just, for you to stay consistently positive reviews everywhere. Also, you don’t wanna be at a four point on Google and then have only a couple reviews that are two on Avvo, and then all of a sudden, someone’s like, “Oh, wow, they’re great. “I found them over on Google. “I’m gonna verify them on Avvo,” and then you only have two stars. That can really hurt you, so you wanna make sure that maybe you kind of guide people along maybe where you need it initially, and then figure it out later.
– [Joanna] Thanks, Ryan. We have another question. “Have you run into any ethical challenges “with the type of system that you use?” The answer to that is no. So we use a system that adheres to the review guidelines of the platforms that we request reviews on. The system that we use, we kinda went into it briefly a few slides back, but it’s meant to filter out negative reviews from ending up on your review platforms through a system that we use, and that system, very briefly, is we ask clients to rate their experience first on a scale of one to 10. If it was a positive rating, then we’ll say, “Hey, thanks for this positive rating. “May you please share some feedback on our Google profile?” And if it’s a negative rating, we’ll send them to a landing page that says, “Hey, we’re really sorry to hear that. “Can you please share your feedback with us “so we can learn more about your experience and address it?” What we also do is share, at the bottom of that landing page, your review profile still, and that’s what keeps us in adherence with Google’s guidelines and these review guidelines, is we’re still providing them an opportunity to share that experience on your review profile, but the way that we’ve formatted it is that we’re encouraging them to share that experience directly with you so you can address it right away. So the answer is yes, we are adhering to guidelines, and no, I haven’t run into any ethical challenges with the system that we use.
– [Ryan] Yeah, there isn’t anything about it that seems to conflict whatsoever with any respective state bar association. The only thing that we have to stay kinda in line with is just the actual platform we’re actually asking reviews for. So for example, Yelp has a absolutely like zero-tolerance solicitation kinda policy, so we can’t do Yelp because they’ll know. They can check what’s called a referral path. They know how people get to their website, and if they know it comes from probably a link that was on an email or something that seems kinda suspicious and not organic, they’ll know immediately that someone was kinda pushing them that way and that’s the only type of ethical, I guess, situation you might find yourself in. Nothing that you can get in trouble for, it’s something that we just don’t even engage in in the first place, I guess you could say.
– [Joanna] All right, I have another question here. “What’s required on my part “to implement a system like this?” Okay, so what’s required on your part is just to send a list of email addresses of past customers that you’ve worked with. So when you’re working with experts like us, that’s all that would be required. How often would you do it? We kinda touched base on this with one of the first questions, but ideally you wanna send me an email right after you’ve closed a case, because the positive sentiment is still fresh in that customer’s mind. We wanna catch them while they’re hot. But if that’s not the case, I have some clients who will send me emails on a weekly basis, on a monthly basis, all of that still works, and we can customize the messaging as needed, but that’s basically all it takes. It’s very simple on your part, and we have great results. We have a tracking system also that allows us to see where we’re at, so if you sent me an email from someone that you were really thinking you were gonna get a review from and you haven’t gotten it yet, you could email me and be like, “Hey, Joanna, we sent this review out. “What’s going on?” And I can look in the system and be like, “Hey, yeah, they opened the email “but they haven’t clicked through to the review request yet, “but we have another follow-up “that’s scheduled to go out in two days. “I’ll check back in with you then “and let you know what’s up.” So it’s a really great system in that respect.
– [Ryan] Thanks, Joanna. I like hearing you talk about the client experience part of it. You get excited about that. But one thing I also wanna mention about emails and that being kinda the core of this working, we have situations where a client comes to us and they wanna work with us to get this campaign going, and then they have 5,000 emails, all right? And the system works pretty well, so we’re expecting to get hundreds upon hundreds of reviews. So in that situation, we’ll do what’s called a drip for the reviews, meaning that instead of sending a request for, we don’t wanna call it a request, just an email template, to about 5,000 people at once, we’ll probably do it maybe a hundred a week. And then, Joanna, if you have different numbers, you can let me know, but you wanna kinda do it slowly for, the main reason is it looks kinda awkward if you’re getting tons and tons of reviews in one place over a short period of time, and that typically, no matter if they were legit clients, they’re all legit five-star reviews, genuine people, real emails, I just think that the likelihood of them all sticking is pretty low across a lot of platforms. So if you had, on Google you had 12 reviews across 12 months and then you get 80 reviews in one month, I don’t think you’re gonna have 80 stick. So we’re always making sure on our part that we do a drip if we have a lot of emails, and then on your part, if you decide to venture out and give this a go on your own, just make sure if you do have a lot of emails that you kinda stagger it over a period of time. Great, and I have a question about Yelp. “Does this work with Yelp?” I think yes, or I already covered that one. Yelp is not one that we work with soliciting. I know that most lawyers, probably four out of five lawyers I talk to, can’t stand Yelp because their positive reviews are suppressed and then their negative reviews are shown. I think that’s just a complete business model flaw on their part, and they just have a zero tolerance for solicitation policy, so we cannot send that as a link, and we wouldn’t recommend it either. It’s something that is just one of those things, and I hate it and everyone I work with hates it. I wish there was a solution.
– [Joanna] So we’ll keep the floor open for about a minute or so more to see if anymore questions come in. Got some great questions so far, so we really appreciate the engagement that we’re getting during this question-and-answer segment.
– [Ryan] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we have another 10 minutes, so absolutely anyone that has a question, feel free, drop it in the Q&A, drop it in the chat. I’d be more than happy to follow up with that.
– [Joanna] Okay. I think we have another question that was asking about Avvo or Google. Just to re-emphasize that we think Google definitely is a priority that you should focus on, but with your review templates, you can tackle more than one, and just set a priority of how you list them. Put Google first and Avvo second. That’s our recommendation.
– [Ryan] Yeah, exactly. I think that we used to do three, but it’s very seldom that people will spend the time doing three, I mean, unless you’re a fantastic lawyer, which I’m sure a lot of you are, so maybe they will. Just don’t really wanna overwhelm them with too many places, so I would really focus on two, like Joanna said. We love Google too.
– [Joanna] Okay, we have another question that came in. “Do you ever send review requests “to other attorneys as well as clients, “like other professionals I’ve worked with?” I mean, your business listing can accept reviews from clients or people you’ve partnered with. I don’t see any problem with that. If you would like us to send a request to whatever email that you have either served in a capacity as them being a client or a partner, I have no objections to that and I think that’s great ’cause they’re gonna be sharing feedback on their experience with you in that respect from that angle.
– [Ryan] Sure, yeah. We’ve done it almost entirely for B2C, but this kinda template, I can’t think of any reason why it wouldn’t be B2B. It’s pretty general. There’s no reason why you wouldn’t be able to.
– [Joanna] Yeah, it’s kinda like sending a email newsletter. I have some lawyers who ask me, “Hey, I have this email newsletter “and I have my MailChimp list and I have clients on it, “but I also have like people “who have referred me and other partners. “Should I send them this newsletter?” And it’s like, hey, if it’s something that would benefit them or they would enjoy reading, why not? It can’t hurt. It can only strengthen the relationship that you have with them.
– [Ryan] I’ll read the next question ’cause I think it is a good one, and I believe I’ve answered this a few times. “Is it against any policy to offer a small discount “on a fee or a small token gift card “in exchange for an honest review?” We don’t advise it. So at that point, that would be kind of your call. We believe that doing this kind of arrangement or this kinda system generates reviews on its own without having to offer anything, so what I would do is go through in the system we’ve provided, I mean, we’re gonna mail everyone the slides just so that you can kinda follow it and guide if you decide to do it on your own, and do that process because I don’t think that it’s necessary and I think that you can have a lot of traction with gaining positive reviews without having to offer anything.
– [Joanna] Yeah, and we do encourage against that because… Our understanding and impression is that at least Google, for sure, does not intend for you to offer perks for people to write reviews ’cause that’s, it wouldn’t really… We want reviews to come in naturally, and our process is allowing reviews to come in naturally without having to offer something in exchange for that, and like Ryan said, we’ve seen great results with the way that it is because it’s, as we talked about, the email template is drafted in a way that you’re truly following up on the client experience, and that’s appreciated enough. It’s enough for them to write the review.
– [Ryan] Sure, but on the other hand, if there’s anything you can do with a fee or a small token gift, we do work with some law firms that do have their own things set up internally that encourages their own team to follow up, so you might be able to set up some sort of system internally where you might have a few legal assistants or paralegals that are doing follow-ups or using a system, and then whoever generates the most, you can do something nice for them. So we do see it internally, I just really don’t see it externally. Great, we’ll take questions for another five minutes. Then we have reviews to generate. I hope everyone’s enjoyed this as well. Feel free to also give us any feedback. That’d be great.
– [Joanna] Yep, and as we mentioned, we will be sending the slide deck to everyone at the conclusion of the webinar so you can take a chance to take a closer look at all of the great information that we shared, and if any new questions arise from that, feel free to contact us directly. Our contact information is on the current slide. You have Ryan Klein, he’s our managing partner. Email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m Joanna Brooks, I’m the account manager, and my email address is email@example.com.
– [Ryan] Yep, and then another thing, you don’t have to shoot us up always questions that only pertain to what we were covering today. We’re a pretty full-service legal marketing agency, so we do work and we’re very competent in SEO and SEM and website stuff, so not limited to just what you’re hearing here today. And then as far as the slides themselves, they will be emailed. It’ll be in the form of a PowerPoint, I believe. Is that correct, Joanna?
– [Joanna] Okay. Okay. Well, it’s been a pleasure speaking with everyone today and everyone taking the time out of their extremely busy schedules to join us and hopefully learn quite a bit about the world of review generation as it stands today. Hopefully y’all are able to put something in place that really gets you going on the right direction for making that happen, because like I said at the beginning, I’ve been doing this for a very long time, and a pain point that I’ve heard over and over and over again besides, “I just need more leads,” which is obviously everyone’s concern day to day, but reviews are always paramount, so we spent a lot of time researching this, and this really is truly what has kind of been the turning point for a lot of law firms, so we hope it is for you as well.
– [Joanna] All right, I don’t see any new questions coming in on my end. Do you have any on your end, Ryan?
– [Ryan] No, but thanks for the questions. They were good questions.
– [Joanna] Definitely. I love questions that get me excited about what I do.
– [Ryan] I saw a couple of those.
– [Joanna] Yes.
– [Ryan] Great.
– [Joanna] All right, guys, well, thank you for your time. We will go ahead and conclude the webinar at this time. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any further questions.
– [Ryan] Thanks, everyone.
– [Joanna] Thanks.